Really Smart



A cookie is a small piece of data stored on a user’s computer that helps websites remember certain information about the user such as their preferences or login details. Cookies were first introduced in 1994 by programmer Lou Montulli, and have since become an integral part of most web browsers. For example, when a user logs into their bank account, the bank’s website stores a cookie on their computer which is used to remember their login details. This means that the user doesn’t need to re-enter their login information every time they visit the website. Cookies also help websites remember user preferences. For example, if a user visits an online store and adds an item to their cart, the website can store a cookie that remembers what that item is. This allows the user to come back to the website later and their cart will still contain the item. Cookies can also be used for analytics purposes. Websites can store a cookie on users’ computers for a certain amount of time, and then track how often the user visits the website. This allows website owners to get a better understanding of user behavior and make changes to their website accordingly. An analogy to help explain cookies is a “frequent shopper” card. When you join a store’s loyalty program, they give you a card which is used to track your purchases. Every time you make a purchase, the store updates their records with the items you bought. This is similar to how cookies are used to track user behavior on websites. Fun Fact: The first chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1938 by the American chef Ruth Graves Wakefield.